Was a lad (easy). Now a dad to Daisy & Seth (less easy).


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To Wee Or Not To Wee

It was probably the last thing that Seth’s nursery teacher said to me as I picked him up for the final time before the summer holidays that really made it hit home:

“And will he be out of those nappies when he comes back in September…?”

Ah, yes. The nappies.

It was said in jest, of course, but made us realise that procrastinating the potty training would have to come to an end.

So, last week I took Seth to the supermarket, told him to pick some big boy pants (Thomas The Tank Engine & Spiderman, obviously), grab some chocolate and a sleeve of well-done stickers, because in a few days’ time he’d be taking his nappy off.

Potty Treats

Potty Treats

Actually, he never got the chance to eat the M&M’s because that night, when the little fella was tucked up in his bed, I may or may not have eaten the whole packet by myself. As such, the M&M’s bought to reward my two year old for piddling in the right place may or may not have been replaced the following day with a packet of giant Milky Buttons.

I’m not proud of what I did.

Although I am proud that I managed not to eat the replacement chocolate as well!

Friday was earmarked as potty D-Day (or as I prefer to call it Wee-Day). Regardless of how it went, the nappy was coming off and we’d just have to muddle our way through the next few days hoping for a miracle.

The first afternoon I went straight to work, shirking all responsibility for the task, leaving my wife in charge of Mr Tinkle.

And do you know what? Seth was a little star. An accident here and a small puddle there but nothing too major. I was receiving half-hourly updates from my wife on WhatssApp to keep me in the loop of his regular potty action.

‘We’ve had a successful wee!’ it would read.

‘No poo yet babes’ said another.

And ‘Woohoo. There’s been a movement in the right place!’

I can’t help but feel that if anyone ever saw our messages without knowing the context then they would think we had some sort of incredibly weird fetish.

Around 5.30pm I saw my phone flash up with ‘Nay has sent you an image’. I opened it up to find out the latest and was left aghast. Never in my wildest nightmares could I have imagined what I was about to witness.

My wife had decided to inform me of Seth’s first No. 2 on the potty by way of PICTURE MESSAGE!

WHAT ON EARTH WAS SHE THINKING?

COULDN’T SHE JUST WRITE A MESSAGE?!

OR AT LEAST GIVE ME SOME FOREWARNING?!

Now obviously I would never want you to view something as hideous as that, so I’ve slightly amended the picture for the purposes of taste and decency.

Potty Proof

Potty Proof

You cannot even begin to imagine what was lurking beneath that emoji!

Day One complete and the boy done good. Four tinkles and one poo on the potty. Hurrah!

I’d promised my wife that I would take a more active role in proceedings on Saturday so I got the kids up, gave them breakfast and asked Seth every 30 seconds if he needed a wee. He was on good form, heading to the potty when he wanted to and telling me when he needed to go.

We even felt confident enough to take him out on Saturday for a bit, with the necessary equipment in tow.

Potty Prepared

Potty Prepared

Then, as Saturday afternoon drew in, my wife requested a break from the potty training. Her argument was reasonable:

I had to deal with it by myself on Friday afternoon so you can sort it out for a couple of hours today.

Couldn’t really argue with that. My wife & Daisy went out and I was left in the playroom with a half-dressed, smiling urine machine.

For two hours we had the same conversation over and over again.

Me: “Sethy, do you need a wee wee?”

Seth: “No, daddy”.

Me: “Well when you do, remember to tell me and we can use the potty”.

Seth: “OK, daddy.”

Swiftly followed by:

Seth: “Look daddy, it keeps getting bigger”.

And then:

Me: “GET OFF YOUR WILLY!”

It was relentless. An hour of this same conversation over and over again. It felt like a week. And my wife wouldn’t be back for another hour still. Not only that, but Seth kept trying to give me a cuddle (something I never turn down) but with beige trousers on and his poor record whilst I was in charge, he was kept firmly at the opposite end of the couch!

Before she’d gone out, my wife had left a present for him if he was doing well. And although he wasn’t ‘performing’ brilliantly on the potty, he’d been really cute and well behaved so I decided to give it to him.

He was over the moon.

Obsessed with the gift, he insisted on having it with him the whole time. In fact, he was so keen on this particular present that he wouldn’t use the potty without it.

It was all a bit odd…

Just Potty

Just Potty

I never anticipated that I’d be potty training a half human, half turtle. How on earth was I meant to take this whole malarkey seriously?!

My wife was right though when she said we should just give him whatever he wants.

If that meant Seth would be a Donatello-mask-wearing-sticker-collecting-chocolate-eating-iPad-watching-ninja-turtle tinkler, then so be it.

It’s been a loooong weekend but, overall, a successful one.

My wife returns to work tomorrow morning and I have both kids… ALONE.

Wish me luck!

#lad2dad lesson For this parental task; ANYTHING goes.

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Sink Or Swim?

“You have one task”, boomed my wife as we boarded the plane to Lanzarote.

I was only half paying attention at the time as I was still recovering from the mammoth task of lugging enough luggage to comfortably cover a family emigration. We were going for a mere ten days but my wife had packed for every eventuality. Including, it would seem, the option that we might never return.

I’m surprised the woman at check-in didn’t wave us off with an “All the best in your new life…”

Bags checked in, security checks done, breakfast eaten, toilet stops sorted and the walk to the plane was upon us…

“What task is that, dear?”

“Please make sure Daisy can swim by the time we come home. All of our friends’ dads have managed to do that. I don’t want her to be the only one coming back with armbands after a holiday abroad”.

Jeez.

No pressure then.

It would seem that this holiday would decide if Daisy was ever going to make the GB Olympics team AND – more worryingly – my standing amongst our social group as a competent outdoors-type dad was now at stake.

I was tempted to point out that if this was my only task then she was very welcome to deal with the luggage carousel when we arrived, but thought better of it.

Isn’t time away with the family amazing? It’s the first time we’d done it as a four and both ourselves and the kids loved it.

And even though most days revolved around these sentences, in this order;

  1. If you don’t stop that then you’re not having an ice cream today.
  2. I’ve told you already, stop it, or you’re not having an ice cream later.
  3. How many times do I have to tell you to stop it or you won’t be having an ice cream later.
  4. That’s it. Don’t say you weren’t warned. There’s no ice cream for you later.
  5. What flavour ice cream do you want?

 

…the kids were great.

But four days in and I still hadn’t achieved my goal of teaching Daisy to swim. My wife pointed this out to me on day one. And day two. And day three!

DSC01150

Having been so reluctant to take her armbands off for the first few days, I managed to make her give it a go. I’d been such an idiot. I had failed to do what all the top swimming coaches in the world do when they are training a top-level elite athlete.

I promised her a new Barbie doll if she did it.

(I’m almost 100% certain this is the same tactic that was used to spur Rebecca Adlington to Olympic glory.)

Daisy took her armbands off, jumped into my arms and swam like she’s never swum before:

I was so proud. Everyone around the pool could see. I was (in my mind, at least) the main man.

The Don Corleone of the hotel swimming pool.

I lifted Daisy out of the pool and we strolled back towards the apartment, looking around for acknowledgements from the crowd. I felt like giving passers-by a high-five to mark my momentous poolside work. I’m pretty sure that they were all impressed by the magnificent aquatic feat that they had just witnessed.

BUT… then, it happened.

As we triumphantly strolled past the bottom end of the pool, I suddenly felt my foot wobble.

The wobble turned into a stumble.

The stumble turned into a slip.

The slip turned into skid.

The skid turned into fall.

Not a subtle fall either; a big, in-your-face, couldn’t-be-more-obvious, call-You’ve-Been-Framed-immediately kind of fall.

My achievements of just minutes earlier were wiped out as I hit the deck in slow motion, letting out a groan as I landed on my arse.

Everyone saw.

To make things worse, Daisy was in actual hysterics, pointing and laughing at the dad who’d just taught her how to swim.

Instead of leaving the pool as a hero, I left as ‘that cocky twat who fell over’.

Sink or swim? For me, the former.

But for Daisy, at least, the latter!

#lad2dadlesson You are the only person who actually cares about your kids’ achievements!